Synthesis of Gold Nanoparticles in Sol-Gel Glass Templates Containing [bmim][BF]4] Ionic Liquid

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The [bmim][BF4] ionic liquid effect on gold nanoparticles formation in silica sol–gel materials is studied in order to produce gel-derived glasses with optical properties. The characteristic red color from gold nanoparticles is observed for transparent glass monoliths obtained sintering, between 365 and 425 C, a silica sol– gel precursor containing HAuCl43H2O and [bmim][BF4], under normal atmospheric conditions. The effect of sintering the ionogel at different temperatures (Tsint) or times (tsint) on the optical properties, shape, size, and distribution of gold nanoparticles is discussed. Presence of the gold particles is observed using transmission electron microscopy images followed by energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy analysis. The thermal decomposition of [bmim][BF4] in the ionogel is investigate using calorimetric and spectroscopic techniques, and by analysis of volatile compounds released by the sol–gel material during sintering. With these results a mechanism for the formation of the gold nanoparticles is proposed, where a first ionic liquid degradation step provides the reductive environment that enables the gold nanoparticles production at the range of temperatures between 350 and 425 C. Upon sintering the synthesized materials the ionic liquid acts as a sacrificial additive and the ionic liquid thermal decomposition products enables the formation of gold nanoparticles in the sol–gel matrix.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)234-244
JournalJournal Of Sol-Gel Science And Technology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013


  • Thermal decomposition
  • Ionic liquids
  • Sol–gel
  • Gold nanoparticles
  • Spectroscopy


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